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4 Lady Flames Receive Big South Postseason Volleyball Honors

November 15, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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4 Lady Flames Receive Big South Postseason Volleyball Honors

Official Big South Release

The Liberty volleyball team received four Big South Conference postseason awards, as announced today by the conference office.

Sophomore middle blocker Anna Gragg was named to the Big South All-Conference first team, while sophomore outside hitter Casey Goodwin was tabbed to the second team. Freshman setter Amaya Williams was voted to the All-Freshman team, while senior setter Anna Willey received All-Academic team mention.

This is the 12th season in a row in which Liberty has placed at least one player on the Big South All-Conference first team. Gragg is the first Liberty player to be named all-conference as both a freshman and sophomore since Jade Craycraft in 2010 and 2011. Williams is the first Liberty setter since Craycraft in 2010 to be named to the All-Freshman team, while Willey is the second Lady Flame (Chelaine McCarty, 2007-09) to earn multiple all-conference and all-academic awards in her career.

Radford senior outside hitter Maddie Palmer was named Big South Player of the Year for the second year in a row, becoming the fourth Big South volleyball player to win back-to-back Player of the Year honors. High Point Head Coach Tom Mendoza was voted Big South Coach of the Year after leading the Panthers to a 16-0 conference record. High Point libero Abby Bottomley was named Big South Freshman of the Year, while her teammate, senior Haley Barnes, was tabbed as Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

A native of Missoula, Mont., Gragg earns first-team all-conference honors after being an honorable mention choice last year. Gragg has been dominant at the middle blocker position this season, ranking second in the Big South in hitting percentage (.323) and fifth in blocks per set (0.93). During conference play, she hit .352 while posting 11 double-digit kill matches. On Nov. 3 at PC, she scored a career-high 26 kills at a .524 pace. Her 26 kills were the most by any Big South middle blocker this season, and the most by a Liberty middle blocker during the rally scoring era.

Hailing from Rougemont, N.C., Goodwin has had a major impact on Liberty's offensive attack this season. She leads the team with 290 kills, hitting .230 overall. During conference play, she ranks seventh in the Big South with 3.36 kills per set and eighth with 3.75 points per set. She has posted 15 double-digit kill matches this season, including 11 in conference play. Goodwin sent down a career-high 23 kills at a .442 clip last Thursday at UNC Asheville. In 10 matches since switching positions to outside hitter, she averages 3.68 kills per set, hitting .249.

A Raleigh, N.C., native, Williams has been the top freshman setter in the conference this season. For the season, she leads the team with 698 assists. Williams ranks fourth in the Big South with 9.02 assists per set in conference play. She has registered three 50-assist matches, all against conference foes. Her 59 assists against PC on Sept. 23 were the most by a Big South setter in a single match this season. She has registered eight double-doubles on the season, good for second on the team.

Willey, a native of Davenport, Iowa, was an honorable mention all-conference setter in 2015 before earning second-team honors last season. She currently ranks eighth in program history with 2,505 career assists. Willey is the Lady Flames' active leader with 28 career double-doubles, including two this season. She has registered two 40-assist matches this year, giving her 28 for her career. Willey graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in digital media performance, carrying a 3.95 GPA. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in sport management.

No. 5 seed Liberty (11-18, 8-8 Big South) will face fourth-seeded UNC Asheville (13-14, 9-7), on Friday at 4:30 p.m. to begin the 2017 Big South Volleyball Championship at the Dedmon Center in Radford, Va. The winner of Friday's quarterfinal will face No. 1 seed High Point, Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in the semifinal round.

2017 Big South Conference Volleyball Award Winners
First Team All-Conference

Maddie Palmer – OH, Sr., Radford
Molly Livingston – MB, Jr., High Point
Haley Barnes – OH, Sr., High Point
Abby Bottomley – LIB, Fr., High Point
Cara Guthrie – OH, Jr., UNC Asheville
Anna Gragg – MB, So., Liberty
Allena Heath – OH, So., Campbell

Second Team All-Conference
Haley Kleespies – S, Jr., Radford
Casey Goodwin – OH, So., Liberty
Katie Tylman – RS, Jr., High Point
Summer Schuitema – S, Sr., Campbell
Stephanie Neast – RS, So., Radford
Keaupono Fey – MB, Sr., Winthrop
Kayla Schanback – LIB, Sr., Campbell

Honorable Mention
Jessica Stocking – OH, Jr., Campbell
Phoebe Wu – OH, Jr., Winthrop
Jordan Hefner – MB, Jr., High Point
Valerie Gonzalez – OH, Jr., Radford
Siani Yamaguchi – S, So., Winthrop

All-Freshman Team
Abby Bottomley – LIB, High Point
Amaya Williams – S, Liberty
Katie Doering – RS, High Point
Ava Venema – MB, UNC Asheville
Hannah Schneggenburger – MB, Campbell
Kalysia Bates – MB, Charleston Southern
Allie Wright – MB, Presbyterian

All-Academic Team
Summer Schuitema – S, Sr., Campbell
Kylie Klein – MB, Sr., Charleston Southern
Amanda Sahm – S, Jr., Gardner-Webb
Haley Barnes – OH, Sr., High Point
Anna Willey – S, Sr., Liberty
Ashton Stewart – MB, Sr., Presbyterian
Kaylor Nash – DS/LIB, Sr., Radford
Carter Kennedy – S, So., UNC Asheville
Carlie Skelton – DS, Jr., Winthrop

Player of the Year
Maddie Palmer – OH, Sr., Radford

Freshman of the Year
Abby Bottomley – LIB, High Point

Coach of the Year
Tom Mendoza – High Point

Scholar Athlete of the Year
Haley Barnes – OH, Sr., High Point